“I’m moving forward. I’m focusing on myself. I’m moving forward, I chose me and I chose well,”
-Mayah Dyson, Elevation
We are several weeks into the arrival of Mayah Dyson’s Elevation and I am still very much excited. The short EP weaves together themes of modern womanhood. Growth, success, passion and risk all get highlights on the project. So being the independent mavericks we are, you bet our ears perk up at the truths about garnering success and keeping interactions sexy. Her 6 song EP keeps us hooked with sultry ballads and self-serving anthems. Although a shorter body of work than most, the time spent bringing it to fruition may shock you! Rather, the time found to spend on Elevation is the true surprise: Mayah Dyson juggles school at Berklee College of Music, performaces in venues in Boston and appearances at festivals. Dyson humbly delivered an R&B gem after Thanksgiving, of all times, and for this we applaud her.
Too often in our lives as young movers-and-shakers, (especially my Black visionaries) we have to minimize what we bring to the table to keep others comfortable. Elevation embodies this ideal from a physical and thematic standpoint; the meticulous building of the EP amidst Dyson’s busy ascent to critically-acclaimed success should not go unnoticed. Yes, via the logistics of Elevation, Dyson makes sure to keep an integral presence and direct her sound. Don’t Cry is a prime example of the range she oversaw. The single opens up without percussion, just chords and Dyson. The sound builds into this R&B bop where she commands attention over bass, upbeat percussion and pretty backing vocals. She does not minimize her presence to just a pretty face, just a vocalist or just a young woman with some lucky breaks. Through this EP she showcases her ability to make moves simultaneously, artistically direct and perform at a high caliber.
I enjoy the succinct message in Elevation and I think Dyson chose to keep her message short, so as not to become redundant. This blurb of raw creativity and authenticity piques my interest; what is next for the messages behind Mayah Dyson’s music? After her work with Solange on Saturday Night Live, I would imagine she is inspired to think larger-scale in terms of applications of her voice, her musicality. When I close my eyes (not while I listen on my daily commute, of course) and listen to the title track, even I am transported into my own visual for the song. Dyson’s music excites me because with Elevation she brings back that ‘dance in your mirror’ or ‘sing in your car’ music. I want to belt out the No Strings Attached lyrics alongside her and strut to the title track Elevation. So I know she has to be leaps ahead of me on this thought.
The time that went into Elevation is evident. Just a month in I am excited and hungry to see more live performances (okay? She rocked Essence this past July), possibly physical releases or even videos. The raw talent and relatable-ambition of Mayah Dyson is what drew me in; how she continues and will continue to expand on her artistry is what compels me to keep tabs.
Elevation is available for streaming on all music streaming platforms.